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The small band format lent itself to more impromptu experimentation and more extended solos than did the bigger, more highly arranged bands.
The 1939 recording of "Body and Soul" by Coleman Hawkins with a small band featured an extended saxophone solo with minimal reference to the theme that was unique in recorded jazz, and which would become characteristic of bebop.
The overall effect was that his solos were something floating above the rest of the music, rather than something springing from it at intervals suggested by the ensemble sound.
When the Basie orchestra burst onto the national scene with its 1937 recordings and nationally broadcast New York engagements, it gained a national following, with legions of saxophone players striving to imitate Young, drummers striving to imitate Jo Jones, piano players striving to imitate Basie, and trumpet players striving to imitate Buck Clayton.
The Kansas City approach to swing was epitomized by the Count Basie Orchestra, which came to national prominence in 1937.
One young admirer of the Basie orchestra in Kansas City was a teenage alto saxophone player named Charlie Parker.
He would frequently repeat simple two or three note figures, with shifting rhythmic accents expressed by volume, articulation, or tone.
Dizzy Gillespie stated that the audiences coined the name after hearing him scat the then-nameless tunes to his players and the press ultimately picked it up, using it as an official term: "People, when they'd wanna ask for those numbers and didn't know the name, would ask for bebop." At times, the terms "bebop" and "rebop" were used interchangeably.In his early days in New York, Parker held a job washing dishes at an establishment where Tatum had a regular gig.One of the divergent trends of the swing era was a resurgence of small ensembles playing "head" arrangements.That understatement of harmonically sophisticated chords would soon be used by young musicians exploring the new musical language of bebop.The brilliant technique and harmonic sophistication of pianist Art Tatum would inspire young musicians including Charlie Parker and Bud Powell.